This is a topic that I have been discussing lately with another person, and am interested in knowing what folks here think. It's about immigration and the borders, especially referring to the Mexican border of the U.S. Every year more border patrol officers are sent to the southern border of the U.S. and yet the tide of illegal immigration is not stemmed. Clearly this isn't working. I don't have a solution, just know it is a problem. Some say that too many illegal immigrants are taking jobs (and welfare) away from people who are here legally, but the other side of things is that if some industries, especially the garment and agriculture industries, were not fueled by the work of people who are here illegally and work for lower wages than American citizens would, the cost of daily goods like socks and lettuce would skyrocket. Some say that there is a disproportionate number of illegal immigrants in the prison system here; but it appears to me that many if not most who cross the southern border are only trying to get work that they cannot find at home; trying to better their lives, which is understandable. We have great wealth and abundance here; but it is also not limitless. Countries in Europe that have had strict immigration policies all along have much more cohesive cultures and traditions than we do -- as I see it America doesn't really have a culture in that same way, just a comglomeration of different cultures, most of which are becoming so dilute that they hardly exist in America any more. America has always been the melting pot, which is good in one way and not in another. It is how we started out, what made us what we are today, for better or worse, and now we are overpopulated and we are flooded with problems with immigration, but it seems impossible to turn off the tap now. All of us here (unless American Indian) are descended from or are ourselves immigrants, and of course the American Indians came from elsewhere too, they just did it a couple thousand years sooner. I don't want to start any heated arguments, so please don't get nasty in your replies. I am just interested in different sides of this question. I would also like very much to hear from people in other countries: what is your view of the U.S. and our immigration policies and practices? How do you think that it compares favorably or unfavorably to your country, and why? What do you think is the effect on the individual, the culture, the direction a country takes, depending on its immigration policies? Let's have a civilized discussion about it, if anyone likes.
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3/6/05 at 2:57pm